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Articles on Catholics

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An image of 15-year-old Carlo Acutis during his beatification ceremony in Assisi, Italy. AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Who are patron saints and why do Catholics venerate them?

Many saints are venerated for specific reasons, professions or even nations. There are saints who are believed to provide assistance in selling a property.
Young people at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines, cheer Pope Francis in 2015, following his comments endorsing same-sex civil unions. AP Photo/Aaron Favila

In supporting civil unions for same sex couples, Pope Francis is moving Catholics toward a more expansive understanding of family

The Vatican has clarified that Pope Francis' support of civil unions did not change church doctrine. A theologian explains what Francis is doing is departing from Catholic rhetoric on the family.
Pope Francis, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, waves to the crowd after addressing Congress on September 24, 2015. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP

The underappreciated yet critical Catholic vote in the 2020 US presidential election

In the 2016 election, Donald Trump won 60% of the American Catholic vote. This year, it will be difficult for him to obtain a similar score, and that could have immense consequences.
Painting depicting transfiguration of Jesus, a story in the New Testament when Jesus becomes radiant upon a mountain. Artist Raphael /Collections Hallwyl Museum

The long history of how Jesus came to resemble a white European

Recent protests on racial justice have also questioned the portrayal of Jesus as a white man. An art historian explains how this image appeared and came to be marketed worldwide.
Social distancing has changed the way people worship. A pastor at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Los Angeles holds a service through his iPhone. AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

How to build community while worshipping online

Churches have moved online. But to be able to properly connect with people, they need to find a way to build community, says a scholar who studies digital religion.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks at a town hall in Florence, South Carolina. He was denied communion by a priest in South Carolina. Sarah Blake Morgan

Why Joe Biden was denied communion at a church

Joe Biden was denied communion for pro-choice views. Catholics with 'unforgiven' sins can't receive communion. A theologian says many Catholics would question if Biden was indeed in a 'sinful' state.
A procession of Christian girls, venerating the Cross, in the village of Qanat Bekish, Lebanon. AP Photo/Hussein Malla

The history of the cross and its many meanings over the centuries

Sept. 14 is the the Feast of the Holy Cross celebrated by many Catholics and some Christians. A scholar revisits the history of the cross, how it became a symbol of divine love, but also of violence.
Voodoo believers walk during the annual Voodoo festival Fete Gede at Cite Soleil Cemetery in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery

What is Haitian Voodoo?

Voodoo is often seen as a practice involving magic. In Haiti, Voodoo is a religion born out of the struggle of slaves. And today, it is used as a form of healing and protection.

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